The Plant City Elks Lodge hosts holiday events for the local community | Jobs Reply

The Plant City Elks Lodge is hosting several events this holiday season to benefit community members.

On Dec. 14, the Plant Elks Lodge hosted its annual holiday dinner at Everyday Blessings, which partners with Lithian community agencies, local organizations and private donors to provide high-quality care for children and youth in the foster care system. Through an impact grant of about $9,000 from Elks National, the Plant City Elks are able to operate year-round with Daily Blessings as a weekly dinner every Friday night, a special Easter dinner each spring and an annual holiday dinner near Christmas. among other events.

Last week’s holiday dinner hosted about 25 children from Everyday Blessings, which included not only a holiday meal but opportunities for the children to meet Santa, and each received gifts from Elks Lodge members and the Elks Lodge itself.

The next day, the Elks Lodge started early preparing a lunch for the Plant City Police Department before turning right around and hosting a dinner for Plant City Fire Rescue and EMTs that same evening.

The events hosted and served more than 50 police and fire service members — along with their families — in addition to presenting a special award to the police department and fire rescue personnel of the year, as selected by the departments themselves. As for the police department, this year’s award was given to executive assistant Carmen Butts – who was accepted on her behalf by Captain Robert McLellan at the ceremony – while the fire department award was given to Captain John Carter.

While the police luncheon is held at noon, the department rotates each year to ensure that officers and employees who are unable to attend one year can attend the next, and supplies goody bags at the end of the event. some employees who are actively serving their shifts during the event.

The Elks Lodge has been providing these holiday meals for Plant City first responders for over 40 years, with all the cooking done in-house.

“I had some wonderful volunteers helping out in the morning and others came to help out in the afternoon,” said Judy Wise, Elks chaplain and longtime member. “After lunch we clean everything up, clean everything up and start again at four for the fire department.”

Additionally, along with the state Elks and Walgreens Corporate, the group is authorized to place boxes at Walgreens across the state to collect gifts for local children. This week the Plant City Elks collected toys from around town, distributed them with teachers Rachael Harvester and Rebecca Minjares and presented them to several children at Advantage Academy. Toys that were not age appropriate for this specific donation were distributed among the Plant City Police to give to local children during Christmas week.

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